Parasite Pack (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S)

Parasite Pack is actually two retro styled games in one!  In Flea, you move around a constantly bouncing flea past obstacles and try to collect as many bottles of blood as you can.  And Tapeworm Disco Puzzle focuses more on puzzles than action, as you must move a tapeworm around mazes collecting items and such.  The pack is available to download on all current game consoles, but reviewed on PS4 here.  Let’s take a look at the games!


This one is more action oriented. You control a bouncing flea presumably inside a living being of some kind and must maneuver past all sorts of obstacles like spikes and other dangerous things.  Each level is a single screen and you must make it from point A to point B.  Along the way are bottles of blood scattered about that you can collect.  I don’t know what they do besides increase your score, though, and you don’t have to get them to proceed.  The challenges remind me of Super Meat Boy styled games, except not quite so frustratingly hard as you can gather tons of lives.  My only big problem with this game is that after every 20 levels or so, you face a ‘boss’ stage that’s just an automatically scrolling level.  And the scrolling of the level and your movements in it don’t seem to sync up right for whatever reason, making it hard to control in those sections.

Tapeworm Disco Puzzle

Of the two games, this one’s my favorite.  You control a tapeworm around a grid, kind of like the classic game Snake.  But the variety of level types is what makes this one great.  Sometimes you must simply collect all the music notes in a stage.  But other times you must help fleas jump up to bottles of blood (are the two games connected?).  And other times you must help a walking microorganism reach an exit safely, kind of like Lemmings.  And sometimes the game is pure action where you must guide your tapeworm as it constantly moves and not have it hit any walls!  But usually you begin at the bottom of the stage and can move to different holes to start.  As you work your way up, a move counter will go down, and when you run out of moves, you can’t go any further and must back up.  But if you collect cassette tapes, you can add a few moves to your counter.  There are all sorts of obstacles, too.  Like warp holes and icy spots that’ll keep you on your toes.

The two games have a retro look and sound to them, and definitely would be like something I would’ve rented on the NES as a kid back in the day.  My only other problem with this collection is that even though you can use save states to save and load games, I kind of wish they also had an autosave feature as well, since it’s so easy to load a saved game instead of saving it.  That happened to me a couple of times.

Kid Factor:

Parasite Pack is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence and Mild Blood.  If you get hit by something in Flea, you just dissolve into pixels.  And in the tapeworm game, if you hit something bad, you just shake for a bit before starting over.  Since these games take place inside living organisms, there’s blood all over the place!  But it’s usually just in bottles you collect, and the games’ retro graphics make it not so bad.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Younger gamers may need help with the tougher levels.

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